Albert Riera hits out at Benitez

Liverpool winger Albert Riera says he is considering leaving the club after being given the silent treatment by Reds manager Rafael Benitez.

Riera, who wants to get into Spain's World Cup squad, thinks Benitez has something "personal" against him and is "turning a deaf ear" to his players.

"He's never sorted out a situation with a player by talking with him," the 27-year-old player told Radio Marca.

Liverpool went into last night's Europa League tie trailing Lille 1-0.

The competition offers the Reds their only remaining chance of silverware in a disappointing season following early exits from the Champions League, FA Cup and Carling Cup.

Benitez has been under pressure as Liverpool have not picked up a trophy since winning the FA Cup in 2006.

The Reds are fifth in the Premier League and are battling with Manchester City, Tottenham and Aston Villa to finish fourth and thereby qualify for next season's Champions League.

Riera's only two appearances since January have been in Europe, and his exclusion from the side for Premier League matches has prompted him to consider offers from two clubs in Russia.

"I would like to spend my whole career here [at Liverpool], but we players live to play," said Riera. "My aim is to go to the World Cup and for this I have to be playing."

During an interview for the Spanish radio station, he described Benitez as an aloof figure who has little relationship with his players.
"When the coach says nothing to you and you are well, with no physical problems and training well, you cannot help but think it must be something personal," he added.

 "If I'm doing something badly and you are my boss, and you value me, then you are going to come and tell me what I have to do to play again. This is what hurts me.

"You see that the team are not doing well and there are no changes. It's a little frustrating because you see that you can help." Benitez signed Riera for £8m from Espanyol in August 2008 but the former Bordeaux star has struggled to make an impact at Anfield.

"I've been here two years and I know how he [Benitez] is. He has never sorted out a situation with a player by talking with him," stated Riera.

"He thinks he's in charge and everything else falls on deaf ears. His dialogue with the players is practically nil."

Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler, signed by Benitez for a second spell at the Anfield club in 2006, believes it may be time for a change of manager.

Fowler, who recently returned from a season in the Australian A-League, told BBC Radio 5 live: "Rafa in his first year won the Champions League but they have not really won too much since then.

"For the sake of Liverpool fans, I want them to do as well as they can and if that means getting a new manager, then so be it." (BBC)


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